You are browsing the archive for 2013 February.

by KiwiGav

The day became fantastically sunny in Edinburgh, Bird Guides Photo of the week.

February 28, 2013 in sightings

Another busy day today, but the afternoon was glorious and sunny so I went out to cut back the Buddleia in my garden, the plant recommend on the Butterfly Conservation top 100, while doing this I was treated to the wonderful chirps of the little bobbing long-tailed tits, there were 2 feeding on the fat in the RSPB half coconuts, absolutely superb birds full of character, I’m pretty positive there were more near by but I didn’t see them, so just 2 have been added today:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 3
  3. Coal Tit x 1
  4. Dunnock x 4
  5. Long-tailed tit x 2
  6. Magpie x 1
  7. Woodpigeon x 2

This weeks Bird Guides photo of the week is a fantastic shot of a Crossbill, just an amazing shot, you have to check it out:

Bird Guides – Crossbill – photo of the week

See more of Chris Upson’s fantastic bird photos: Chris Upson Images of Nature

by KiwiGav

Terrible list for today!

February 27, 2013 in sightings

I was glad to see 6 starlings at the end of today as there’d only been 2 woodpigeons earlier, the day was hectic again, my carpal tunnel is getting better and I’ve started working on the Australian version of finance site Saver Scene – Saver Scene Australia again as I’d taken a lot of time off to try and get my hands to heal. As well as the workmen still putting in the new central heating system so no access to the back garden again and only looked out the front and had 2 sightings. there were gulls high up and I couldn’t identify them, so this is it for today:

  1. Starlings x 6 – flying over their roost in the beautiful sunset.
  2. Woodpigeon x 2 – they were really into spring activity!

by KiwiGav

Front garden bird watching today, plus more wildlife gardening tips.

February 26, 2013 in sightings

The fog has gotten incredibly thick here in Edinburgh tonight, who’s bright idea was it to get the central heating replaced in February?  Oh that’s right mine!  It’s freezing!  Due to works going on in all the back rooms today I didn’t really get a chance to see the back garden and instead had to watch a small part of hedge in the front and got one good surprise here’s what I was lucky enough to see:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Carrion crow x 1 – fly over
  3. Dunnock x 1
  4. Grey Heron x 1 – fly over
  5. Woodpigeon x 2

I don’t think I’ve used this photo on here, but one of my regular carrion crows that flies over the garden:

Carrion Crow

Carrion Crow

Yesterday I posted up about wildlife gardening and wanted to mention another great post that gives good information about planting not only nectar rich flowers and plants for adult butterflies but also adding plants for caterpillars: Gardening for butterflies – adults v caterpillars | Butterflies and Gardens

possible sign of spring

February 26, 2013 in sightings

I’d say i heard the first signs of a dawn chorus today – blackbirds and robins making a bit of a noise just before dawn.


Also saw Robin, Magpie, Black headed Gull, carrion Crow, Woodpigeon today

by KiwiGav

Starlings zigged & zagged through the sky, garden bird list.

February 25, 2013 in sightings

I’ve had a very busy day today, we’re getting a new central heating system put in and it’s been a bit hectic, I did have time to do Monday updates on ISA, Savings and Credit Cards and to put together the list of 100 best plants for attracting wildlife to your garden.  I also manage to get out and see a few birds in or over the garden, including 13 starlings that I got to watch for about 10 minutes as they zigged and zagged  through the sky, diving in close and checking their roosting place then flicking back into the sky high over the roost, watching it from every angle, amazing to watch, I hope to one day see one of the huge murmurations as seen in Wexford.

Here’s the list of the birds I did have the fortune to see today:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 3 fly overs
  4. Chaffinch x 1
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. Magpie x 2 fly overs
  7. Starlings x 13
  8. Woodpigeon x 5

by KiwiGav

Plants for attracting wildlife, Butterfly Conservations top 100!

February 25, 2013 in sightings

I know this site is dedicated to birds but one of the important things for birds is their food and a great way to increase birds in your garden is by increasing the number of insects, the people at Butterfly Conservation (savebutterflies on twitter) have put together a brilliant list of plants that are nectar rich and perfect for insects many not just for butterflies but bees, moths and some berry producing ones great for many birds.

I’ve searched the internet for places that sell plants or seeds recommended by Butterfly Conservation, for those that I couldn’t I’ve linked to suggested searches on ebay.  I will be trying to grow many of these to attract as much wildlife to the garden as possible to help the wildlife and in the hope of being able to photograph birds, mammals and insects from home while I’m not able to walk very well.

Painted Lady - Butterfly on Sunflower

Painted Lady – Butterfly on Sunflower

here’s the great list, a big thanks to Butterfly Conservation for this:

Mini Meadow
Mini wildflower meadow Empathy mini wildflower meadow – I’m going to be trying this one in my garden

Buddleia / Buddleja
butterfly bush Buddleja ‘Lochinch’
butterfly bush Buddleja davidii ‘White Profusion’
butterfly bush Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ – I really like this one
Butterfly Bush Buddleja davidii ‘Royal Red’ – RHS Perfect for Pollinators
Buddleia Nanho Purple 1 Plant 3 litre | Buy Plants, Shrubs and Trees Online | Shrubs

Ice Plant
ice plant Sedum spectabile ‘(Brilliant Group) Brilliant’

lavender Lavandula × intermedia ‘Grosso’
Scented Lavender Collection 6 plants | Perennial Plants
Lavender Angustifolia Vera 2L | Garden Bargains

Michaelmas daisy
michalmas daisy Aster × frikartii ‘Mönch’

marjoram Origanum laevigatum ‘Herrenhausen’
pot marjoram seeds Origanum vulgare – seeds

Red valerian
red valerian Centranthus ruber

aubretia F1 Aubretia ‘Purple Cascade (Cascade Series)’ – very nice purple!
Aubretia Royal Red 12 Plants | In the papers

Field scabious
field scabious Knautia arvensis
butterfly collection Butterfly ‘Seed collection’ – Butterfly Seed Collection

sweet scabious Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Fata Morgana’
Macedonian scabious Knautia macedonica
sweet scabious Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Black Knight’

blackberry blackberry ‘Ouachita’
blackberry blackberry ‘Oregon Thornless’

French marigold
40 plus 20 FREE large plug plants Marigold ‘French Fancy’
Marigold Melody 50 Plants +20 FREE | Garden Ready Plants

veronica Hebe ‘Champagne’
hebe Hebe ‘Heartbreaker’
Hebe Collection 3 Plants 9cm Pot | Shrubs

candytuft Iberis ‘Masterpiece’

lobelia Lobelia × speciosa ‘Hadspen Purple (PBR)’
Lobelia Trail Away 100 Plug Plants + 60 FREE | Plug Plants

honesty Lunaria annua

alpine mint bush Prostanthera cuneata – alpine mint bush
peppermint seeds Mentha piperita – peppermint
herb collection – mint, rosemary, thyme, parsley & sage or lavender Herb Collection ‘(6 Mixed Herbs)’ – mixed herbs
Tasty Herb Collection 12 Jumbo Ready Plants | Garden Vegetables | Jersey Plants Direct – mixed herbs

Hemp agrimony
hemp agrimony Eupatorium capillifolium

phlox Phlox divaricata ‘Clouds of Perfume’
Phlox Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Evening’
Perennial Phlox Collection 6 Jumbo Ready Plants | Perennials
Phlox Blue Paradise 1 Plant 2 Litre | Perennials

forget-me-not Myosotis sylvatica
Siberian bugloss Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost (PBR)’
wildflower plug plant collection Wildflowers for ‘attracting bumble bees’ – a great bumblebee collection!

aster Aster ‘Little Carlow (cordifolius hybrid)’
michalmas daisy Aster pyrenaeus ‘Lutetia’

Sweet rocket
sweet rocket Hesperis matronalis

Runner bean
runner bean
Runner Bean Scarlet Emperor | Vegetable Seeds

knapweed Centaurea ‘Jordy’
mountain knapweed Centaurea montana ‘Alba’
greater knapweed Centaurea scabiosa
butterfly collection Butterfly ‘Seed collection’

oval leaf privet Ligustrum ovalifolium
oval leaf privet – Hedging Range Ligustrum ovalifolium

Purple Loosestrife
loosestrife Lythrum virgatum ‘Dropmore Purple’
purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria ‘Blush’

verbena Verbena bonariensis ‘Lollipop’
verbena Verbena bonariensis

Alysum Dilly Dilly 50 Plants + 20 FREE | Garden Ready Plants

Common fleabane
Pulicaria dysenterica ? Common Fleabane | Wild Flowers | Species | Emorsgate Seeds ? (01553) 829 028

Taraxacum officinale ? Dandelion | Wild Flowers | Species | Emorsgate Seeds ? (01553) 829 028

dahlia tuber Dahlia ‘Bishop of Auckland’
dahlia tuber Dahlia ‘Bishop of Dover’

wallflower Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’
wallflower Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’

Bowles mauve wallflower
wallflower Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’
wallflower Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’

Persian ivy Hedera colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’

Cantabrian heath Daboecia cantabrica ‘Amelie (PBR)’
winter heath Erica carnea f. alba ‘Whitehall’
Heather Promotion – 6 pack Heather ‘6 Pack’

Shrubby cinquefoil
shrubby cinquefoil Potentilla fruticosa ‘Marian Red Robin = ‘Marrob’ (PBR)’

Western mugwort Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Valerie Finnis’

cranesbill Geranium ‘Melinda (PBR)’ – RHS Perfect for Pollinators
cranesbill Geranium × oxonianum ‘Wargrave Pink’

evening primrose Oenothera biennis

Tree mallow
tree mallow (syn. L. olbia ‘Rosea’) Lavatera × clementii ‘Rosea’
tree hollyhock Hibiscus syriacus ‘White Chiffon’

chives chives
Edible Flowers Plant Combination ‘Edible Flowers Plant Combination’ – Edible Flowers plant collection

thyme Thymus vulgaris ‘Silver Posie’
thyme Thymus ‘Doone Valley’
thyme – organic seeds Thymus vulgaris

mountain knapweed Centaurea montana ‘Alba’
catmint Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’
catmint Nepeta × faassenii
Chilean potato tree Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’
African Marigold
Marigold African Sun Mix 50 Plants + 20 FREE | Garden Ready Plants

heartsease Viola tricolor

Black eyed Susan
black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia ‘Little Gold Star’
black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Early Bird Gold (PBR)’
black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Early Bird Gold (PBR)’

hydrangea Hydrangea paniculata ‘Diamant Rouge = ‘Rendia’ (PBR)’
climbing hydrangea Hydrangea anomala subsp. ‘petiolaris Silver Lining’

Golden Rod
solidaster / golden rod Solidago × luteus ‘Lemore’

Ox-eye daisy
ox-eye daisy Leucanthemum vulgare

Sweet William
30 Sweet William Rouge Blush Plants + 15 FREE | Garden Ready Plants

Shasta daisy
shasta daisy Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Snowcap’
shasta daisy Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Phyllis Smith’
shasta daisy Leucanthemum ‘Banana Cream’
shasta daisy Leucanthemum ‘× superbum Sunny Side Up’
shasta daisy Leucanthemum ‘Sante’

hyssop Agastache ‘Black Adder’

Rock rose
rock rose Cistus × purpureus

mandarine honeysuckle Lonicera ‘Mandarin’
early Dutch honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum ‘Belgica’
English wild honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum ‘Heaven Scent’

shasta daisy Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Snowcap’
shasta daisy Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Phyllis Smith’
fleabane Erigeron ‘Sommerneuschnee’
black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia ‘Little Gold Star’
coneflower Echinacea purpurea ‘Kim’s Knee High (PBR)’
coneflower Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’
coneflower Echinacea purpurea
coneflower Echinacea purpurea ‘Vintage Wine (PBR)’
New England Aster Aster novae-angliae ‘Violetta’ – I really like this one.
coneflower Rudbeckia hirta ‘Autumn Shades’
pot marigold Calendula officinalis
feverfew – organic seeds Tanacetum parthenium
shasta daisy Leucanthemum ‘Banana Cream’
shasta daisy Leucanthemum ‘× superbum Sunny Side Up’
shasta daisy Leucanthemum ‘Sante’

teasel Dipsacus fullonum – be very good to get goldfinches in the garden!
sea holly (syn. Blue Dwarf) Eryngium planum ‘Blauer Zwerg’
Nyjer / Thistle seed – Nyjer / Thistle seed

sneezewort Achillea ptarmica ‘(The Pearl Group) The Pearl (clonal)’

Chrysanthemum (single)
corn marigold (syn. Chrysanthemum segetum ) Glebionis segetum

Cosmos, Cosmea
cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Rubenza’
cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Sensation Picotee’
cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’
cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Dazzler’
40 plus 20 FREE large plug plants Cosmos ‘Sonata White’
RHS perfect for pollinating insects ‘RHS perfect for pollinating insects’ – perfect for pollinators mix

African daisy Osteospermum jucundum
African daisy Osteospermum ‘Snow Pixie’

white clover – green manure Trifolium repens
Globe thistle
globe thistle Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Globe’
globe thistle Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’

dyer’s chamomile Anthemis tinctoria ‘E.C. Buxton’

Pot marigold
pot marigold Calendula officinalis ‘Indian Prince’
pot marigold Calendula officinalis

escallonia Escallonia ‘Iveyi’
escallonia Escallonia ‘Apple Blossom’

Everlasting flower – Helichrysum
Helichrysum Forever Mix Seeds – Suttons Seeds and Plants

lilac Syringa ‘Red Pixie’

cornflower Centaurea cyanus
cornflower Centaurea cyanus ‘Black Ball’
mountain knapweed Centaurea montana ‘Alba’

‘prepared’ hyacinth bulbs Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Pink Pearl’
garden hyacinth bulbs Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Miss Saigon’

Lychnis coronaria – Campion
Lychnis coronaria – Red Rose Campion, 200 Seeds | eBay

Red campion
red campion Silene dioica

nasturtium Tropaeolum ‘Alaska’

hardy plumbago Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

statice seeds | eBay
Cone flower / Coneflower
coneflower Echinacea purpurea ‘Vintage Wine (PBR)’ – very nice flower!

senecio Brachyglottis ‘(Dunedin Group) Sunshine’

Onions – I’ve chosen ornamental onions, but obviously there are great benefits from standard onions – like being able to eat them!
giant ornamental onion Allium giganteum
ornamental onion Allium schubertii

Virginia stock
virginia stock seeds | eBay

Petunia – make sure they’re single flowered as often the double aren’t great for wildlife.
40 plus 20 FREE large plug plants Petunia ‘Fantasia Mixed’
Petunia Surfina Classic (Trailing) Red 24 Jumbo Ready Plants | Ready Plants

Busy Lizzie
Impatiens Jigsaw 70 Plug Plants plus 35 FREE | Plug Plants

tickseed Coreopsis ‘Limerock Ruby’ – very nice!
tickseed Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’

bluebell bulbs Hyacinthoides non-scripta – try very hard to keep these away from Spanish bluebells.

yarrow Achillea ‘Credo’
yarrow Achillea filipendulina ‘Cloth of Gold’
yarrow Achillea ‘Moonshine’
yarrow Achillea ‘Wesersandstein’

bird’s foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus

Everlasting pea
spring vetchling Lathyrus vernus

Cardamine pratensis / lady’s smock / cuckoo flower
lady’s smock / cuckoo flower Cardamine pratensis

feverfew – organic seeds Tanacetum parthenium

Inula seeds | eBay

pink Dianthus amurensis
pink Dianthus ‘Mrs Sinkins’

Sneezeweed, Helenium
sneezeweed Helenium ‘Biedermeier’
sneezeweed (syn Indian Summer) Helenium ‘Indianersommer’
sneezeweed Helenium ‘The Bishop’

Flos flower, Ageratum
Ageratum seeds | eBay

Corn marigold
corn marigold (syn. Chrysanthemum segetum ) Glebionis segetum

Sea holly
sea holly (syn. Blue Dwarf) Eryngium planum ‘Blauer Zwerg’
sea holly Eryngium bourgatii ‘Picos Amethyst’

Grape hyacinth
grape hyacinth bulbs Muscari latifolium
grape hyacinth bulbs Muscari armeniacum

Cotoneaster – these are great for birds too, I had a few small plants in my old garden and a fieldfare came and devoured all the berrys in one day. Was happy to see it!
cotoneaster Cotoneaster frigidus ‘Cornubia’
cotoneaster Cotoneaster dammeri

Buttercup – 4000 seeds can cost around £5:
buttercup seeds | eBay

heartsease Viola tricolor
violet (syn. Viola Boughton Blue) Viola ‘Belmont Blue’

Californian lilac Ceanothus ‘Burkwoodii’

Musk mallow
Musk mallow seeds | eBay

Heliotrope seeds | eBay

Eranthis hyemalis – winter aconite
winter aconite – In The Green Eranthis hyemalis

Buddleia is by far the best nectar plant and is first favourite with 18 species: Brimstone, Comma, Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Green-veined White, Holly Blue, Large Skipper, Large White, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Copper, Small Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, Speckled Wood and Wall Brown.

Check ebay for more great wild flower and meadow plants & seeds:
wildflower | eBay

by KiwiGav

Watched the Rugby, more DIY and few birds about.

February 24, 2013 in sightings

What a wonderful day for Scottish Rugby!  Today started with snow, a lot of snow but a few hours later there was almost none lying, by the end of the day it was just a boggy mess.  I would have expected a lot more birds around however there’s also a lot of insects about so the birds aren’t needing the feeders as much as a few weeks ago.  It’s amazing how many moths are about, talking to others they’ve had almost none but I’m having to remove and release up to 5 a day from the house, so there should be a lot more out and about.  Here’s my list for today:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Bullfinch x 1 – female
  4. Dunnock x 1
  5. Feral Pigeon x 1
  6. Magpie x 2
  7. Woodpigeon x 4 – really showing mating behaviour today.


February 24, 2013 in sightings

Was not specifically out to watch birds today but got to see a few species.

House Sparrow Starling, Magpie, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Carrion Crow, Harring Gull, Rook, Woodpigeon, and a first for this year Song Thrush

First 5 in the list were within 3 minutes of stepping out the front door.

by KiwiGav

A day of Rugby and DIY, plus got to see a few birds.

February 23, 2013 in sightings

Spent most of the day doing DIY or taking glances at the rugby, didn’t have a lot of time for birdwatching only when outside with the dog, that said still got a good list and it was fantastic to see a pair of long-tailed tits, I heard them long before I saw them, they’ve got such a great call.  Here’s the list for today: 

  1. Blackbird x 3
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 22 fly overs
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. House Sparrow x 6
  7. Long-tailed Tits x 2
  8. Robin x 1
  9. Woodpigeon x 4

Saturday 23rd

February 23, 2013 in sightings

Have nto had much chance to see anything for a few days – not out in much daylight.

Have seen some this morning though

Robin, Dunnock, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Black Headed Gull, Carrionb Crow, 40+ Rooks in a big tree on way to supermarket. 4 Cormorant on pilon by river Chelmer just outside Chelmsford.

Am in for the rest of the day now – Watching  Nordic Skiing and Rugby